Friday, August 21, 2009

Book Review #825
Boneman's Daughters by Ted Dekker
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

I did not like this book. Not in the least. In fact, this book was downright disturbing. The only reason I kept reading was because it was a Ted Dekker book and I know several people who like his novels. The Christian elements in this book were a little too far-fetched, or I needed someone to explain things to me, because I didn't get it. I couldn't read this book at night because it was too dark and disturbing. The characters weren't fully developed and I wasn't impressed with the writing style. There were several scenes that made me feel sick to my stomach and I couldn't believe some of the actions of the characters. The ending made absolutely no sense to me. I didn't see how it solved anything and I felt like there were a ton of loose ends. I would not recommend this book.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Book Review #824
Little Pierre by Robert D. San Souci, illustrated by David Catrow
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This tale was interesting.  I liked how all the pictures were vividly colorful and brought a whole new layer to the story.  Even though I enjoyed reading this book, it isn't anywhere near my favorites list.  I might recommend.

Book Review #823
Don't Take Your Snake For A Stroll by Karin Ireland, illustrated by David Catrow
Rating: two stars (out of four)

There was a lot of amusing tidbits in this book, but the entiretly wasn't nearly as amusing as it should have been.  Sure, parts of it were funny and I thought a lot of the illustrations were insanely comical, but some things just didn't click.  I might still recommend though.
Book Review #822
The Badger And The Magic Fan by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Tomie dePaola
Rating: one star (out of four)

There were a lot of elements of this story that were just plain bizarre and a little too far-fetched to make an enjoyable read.  Even though it was an interesting story, I couldn't get over some of the weirder details and wasn't satisfied when I finished reading.  I wouldn't recommend this book.

Book Review #821
Four Friends At Christmas by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a fairly sweet tale about four crazy friends.  I liked the pictures and the ending was pretty cute, if not a little random.  I might recommend.

Book Review #820
The Holy Twins by Kathleen Norris, illustrated by Tomie dePaola
Rating: one star (out of four)

I found it hard to believe everything in this book.  I know that they wanted me to take some of the things that happened as fact, but I felt like that was a tad bit misleading.  I did think it was a good concept to tell more about these people from history, but I wasn't overly impressed with how they portrayed their lives.  I wouldn't recommend.

Book Review #819
Francis: The Poor Man Of Assisi by Tomie dePaola
Rating: one star (out of four)

I was not impressed with this book.  It is labeled as a non-fiction biography for children, but I think that is a bit of a stretch.  I don't know how many events in this book actually happened, but it seemed a little far-fetched to assume this is how the man really acted.  The illustrations were typical Tomie, but I couldn't enjoy them as much because of how the book was portrayed.
Book Review #818
The Family Christmas Tree Book by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I liked how Tomie wove a story about one family's decorating traditions into a retelling of how Christmas trees came to be.  The illustrations were simple, but nice to look at.  I might recommend.

Book Review #817
Petook: An Easter Story by Caryll Houselander, illustrated by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

The message that this book was trying to convey was a good one, but unfortunately, I didn't feel like it did the best job.  I'm not sure children would get the significance of the story and I felt that parts of the story were a little unbelievable.  I did enjoy Tomie's illustrations though.  I'm not sure that I would recommend this book.

Book Review #816
An Early American Christmas by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a nice book that portrayed what Christmas might have looked like a long time ago.  I liked how Tomie drew the pictures and how sweet the family was about helping and getting ready for the celebration of Christmas.  I would recommend.

Book Review #815
Alice Nizzy Nazzy by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Tomie dePaola
Rating: one star (out of four)

This story would have been interesting, but I felt like some pieces were missing.  I liked the concept, but there were elements that needed some details to make the story more well-rounded.  I did enjoy Tomie's illustrations.  I probably wouldn't recommend though.

Book Review #814
So Happy! by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Anita Lobel
Rating: one star (out of four)

I think there was a point to this story, but I didn't get it.  The idea was an interesting premise, but I didn't see how everything connected and was a little annoyed with how the story progressed.  The pictures were okay, but not anything that I would want to look at for hours on end.  I was not impressed with this book and would not recommend.

Book Review #813
An Extraordinary Egg by Leo Lionni
Rating: two stars (out of four)

Parts of this book made me smile and I was amused at the little frogs'  "knowledge" of the mysterious egg.  I liked how the story progressed, but thought the ending was a little forced and felt sorry for Jessica.  I would probably still recommend though.

Book Review #812
Mr. McMouse by Leo Lionni
Rating: one star (out of four)

I'm not really sure how this book got published.  The story felt really disjointed and the ending totally threw me for a loop.  I had expected something vastly different and was left completely unsatisfied.  I would have liked more closure.  I would not recommend this book.

Book Review #811
The Princess Knight by Cornelia Funke, illustrated by Kerstin Meyer
Rating: three stars (out of four)

Reading this book put a smile on my face.  I loved how the princess took her future into her own hands and showed that she was a strong person who could make decisions for herself.  She proved to be quite capable of making up her own mind.  I especially loved the ending, it was a sweet and simple.  I would recommend.

Book Review #810
Princess Pigsty by Cornelia Funke, illustrated by Kerstin Meyer
Rating: two stars (out of four)

While I did enjoy seeing the antics of this fed-up princess, there were parts that were slightly unbelievable.  The ending was rather neatly wrapped up as well.  But still, I did like how the youngest princess handled her dilemma and the illustrations captured her moods nicely.  I might recommend if you liked off-the-wall princess books.

Book Review #809
Pirate Girl by Cornelia Funke, illustrated by Kerstin Meyer
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was an amusing pirate tale.  I liked how the story didn't go the way you'd imagine it going, but it still kept you entertained.  The spirited little girl was a spunky character who I enjoyed seeing interact with the band of ruthless pirates.  The ending was a tad bit random, but still interesting.  I might recommend.

Book Review #808
The Wildest Brother by Cornelia Funke, illustrated by Kerstin Meyer
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book was amusing.  I could see the relationship between the brother and sister.  I liked how well the older sister put up with her rambunctious and energetic little brother who had an overactive imagination.  The ending was quite sweet as well.  The illustrations were fun.  I might recommend.

Book Review #807
Melvin Might? by Jon Scieszka
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book was mildly amusing, but not something that I think would capture the complete attention of all children.  If your child loves trucks they would probably enjoy this book.  The pictures were bright and colorful, and it was fun to see what each new page would bring.  But this book was not remarkably astounding or anything.  I might recommend.

Book Review #806
Sisterchicks In Wooden Shoes by Robin Jones Gunn
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book had an interesting beginning and since I won it in a goodreads giveaway, I was eager to start it. The characters were lively and I felt like they were real people, I didn't think any of their actions were out of place or weird. I enjoyed the traveling in this book and I could almost picture in my mind the places they went and what they looked like. The message of the novel was good and I think some people would find this book inspiring. I'd recommend.

Book Review #805
Answering The Guy Questions by Leslie Ludy
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I really enjoyed this book. Leslie Ludy is great about giving straight-forward advice that you can take to heart. Not only does she give you an opinion, but she explains it in such a way that you can see things from her point of view and know why she is wanting you to change your habits. She also uses a lot of scripture references to back her up. I'd recommend this book to teen girls looking for answers.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Book Review #804
Cindy Ella by Robin Palmer
Rating: one star (out of four)

I picked up this book because I thought it would be funny and different. But I wasn't impressed with this story in the least. The plot was trite and I felt like I had already read several other versions that were more interesting. I didn't care for the characters and most of the story seemed unbelievable and over-dramatic. I wouldn't recommend this book.

Book Review #803
Nothing But Ghosts by Beth Kephart
Rating: three stars (out of four)
*read July 29, 2009

I love Beth Kephart's writing. She is so eloquent in her descriptions of the ordinary and makes them breathtaking and wondrous. Throughout this novel were sentences that tugged at my writer's heart and made me want to jot down poetry. The characters in this story were intriguing, I wasn't sure who to trust because of the mystery, but in the end i was satisfied. The story was simple, but I didn't feel like it lacked in major details. It wasn't my favorite of the other books I've read by Beth Kephart, but I'd recommend it.

Book Review #802
Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede
Rating: three stars (out of four)
*read July 26, 2009

The concept for this book was really good, and while I was always interested in what was happening, I felt like there was something missing. I liked the characters, but I wanted more depth. The story was believable and I really liked the setting, it was imaginative and intriguing. The ending felt a little forced, I wanted some more closure and was a little dissatisfied with it. But I still enjoyed the book and would probably recommend it, it just wasn't as good as previous books I've read by Patricia C. Wrede.

Book Review #801
Pride And Prejudice And Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith, with Jane Austen
Rating: zero stars (out of four)
*read July 15, 2009

As an avid Jane Austen fan this book looked like a hilarious tongue-in-cheek novel. The first couple chapters were hysterical. I loved the original Jane Austen text littered with random snippets of zombie craziness. Sure, the pictures were a little disturbing at times, but it was all in fun, right?

But as I got more into the story and the plot thickened I was struck by how violent the characters were becoming. I also didn't like the way the story was turning sour. The author was morphing Austen's beloved characters into blood-thirsty monsters. The author even took it upon himself to change some of the situations to the advantage of his zombie side-plot, which totally corrupted the characters and made them people without good morals. I was completely dismayed at this slight!

Now, I had never really considered myself a Jane Austen Purist before, but after reading this book and seeing how someone could pollute such a great book, it definitely made me one. If I had to choose one word to describe this book it would be Grotesque. I did not like the way it ended and I was really angry at the author for turning the noble character of Elizabeth Bennett into such a despicable person. There was one scene in particular that completely threw me into a fit of hysterics which I won't mention because it is bloody, sick, and untasteful.

I would never recommend this book. It could have been a funny aside to this much loved classic, but instead it chose to be a demoralizing piece of trash. That might seem harsh, but the way they handled the character turned my stomach and made me want to throw this book across the room.

Book Review #800
The Anatomy Of Wings by Karen Foxlee
Rating: one star (out of four)
*read July 10, 2009

I picked this book up because the cover was really intriguing - especially when paired with the unique book title. Sadly, I couldn't even finish this book. There was something amiss in its story structure. I was often confused and wanted to know what was going on. The story was trying to be mysterious but only ended up being annoying and tediously vague. I didn't care for any of the characters and I wished the author would stop trying so hard. I would not recommend this book.

Book Review #799
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Rating: zero stars (out of four)
*read July 8, 2009

I really wanted to like this book because the cover was so enchanting, but when I started reading it I felt like something was off. It was kind of creepy, definitely disturbing, and eerily lacking in substantial plot. I did not like her boyfriend and I didn't see how they got along - I also thought their relationship was kind of unbalanced. The faeries were disturbing and I didn't like how they treated each other and the humans, it was unsettling. There was also language and sexual content that was inappropriate. The ending was unrealistic and I thought it was too easily wrapped up. I know there's going to be a sequel but I will not be reading it. I consider this book a waste of time. It had the beginning traces of a different and fun fantasy book but fell short on so many occasions.